Child Labour - Overview


In Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, the minimum age for employment is 15 years, and in China it is 16 years, except where government authorities provide approval for minors to work in certain industries, including literature, art, physical culture, and special crafts.

In Burma, it is prohibited to employ or permit a child to perform work that is hazardous to their life, health, or moral character, or to work with alcohol. It is also prohibited to make use a child to beg, or in pornographic cinema, video, or photography, to allow a girl child under guardianship below the age of 16 to earn a livelihood by prostitution, or to require imprisoned children or youth to undertake rigorous labour whilst in prison.

In Cambodia, children between the ages of 12 and 15, and in Thailand those between 13 and 15, are permitted to perform light work. In Lao PDR an employer may employ children who are at least fourteen years of age and less than eighteen years of age, provided that they do not work for more than eight hours a day and are not employed in sectors involving the performance of heavy work or that are dangerous to their health.

In Cambodia, minors of less than eighteen years old cannot be employed in underground mines or quarries. Similarly, in China juvenile workers are prohibited from working down mine shafts, from doing work that is poisonous or harmful, or from doing any other dangerous work that they should avoid.

In Lao PDR, those under the age of 18 are not allowed to work in all types of mining, in production activities that use chemicals, explosives or toxic substances, in work involving the handling of human corpses, to do overtime work, to work in environments with excessive noise pollution, to work in places that serve alcohol or with gambling facilities, or to work at night from 10 pm to 5 am.

In Thailand, children below the age of 18 years are prohibited from performing dangerous work such as rolling and stamping metal, or work dealing with unsafe chemicals and poisonous microorganisms. Children below the age of 18 years are also strictly prohibited from working in certain establishments such as gambling centres, slaughterhouses, dance clubs, or venues where liquor is served. An employer should not ask a child employee below 18 years to work overtime or on holidays.

In Vietnam, it is prohibited to employ junior workers in heavy or dangerous work, work requiring contact with toxic substances, or work that will have adverse effects on a child’s personality.

You are here: Section 7 - Child Labour